The Easiest Floors to Clean

by Sam Ferris
Between work, cooking, and taking care of kids, cleaning your floors is probably near the bottom of your list of daily duties. Buying hard-to-clean floors is even further down the list, we?re sure. Stress no more, though. Opt for these low maintenance floors to lighten your daily load:

Porcelain Tile
How to clean Porcelain Tile
Photo courtesy of Mohawk Flooring
Porcelain tile is top dog when it comes to easy cleaning. It?s stronger than ceramic tile because of how it?s manufactured, and color body porcelain is the most durable flooring on the market.

Porcelain tile?s surface can withstand almost anything, from ammonia and bleach to Clorox and vinegar (obviously it won?t survive a nuclear bomb ? we?re only talking about cleaning products). In other words, you have options galore to clean up a mess.

Using water is also acceptable because porcelain doesn?t absorb a lot of moisture.
What we recommend
Though you have options, a simple Swiffer mop or similar product will suffice for most clean ups.?

Vinyl Planks
Vinyl planks are among both the easiest to install and the most cost effective floors, so it shouldn?t surprise you that they?re also among the easiest to clean.

The one product to avoid cleaning your vinyl floors with is ammonia. That can cause damage to the floor?s surface. Other than that, most cleaning products will work fine with vinyl.?
What we recommend
Smartstrand Forever Clean
Like porcelain tile, a Swiffer mop or similar product should do the trick.?

Easy to clean carpet
Photo courtesy of Mohawk Flooring
Forever clean isn?t a buzz phrase ? it?s the truth.

Because of the way Smartstrand carpets are built (75 to 100 percent Triexta instead of nylon), you can remove almost any stain with just warm water and a towel.

We?re not kidding. Smartstrand is even stampeded-approved.

We ranked Smartstrand Forever Clean last due to restrictions as to what you can apply to carpet, as well as what vacuum cleaners to use. Always check the manufacturer?s website or ask your salesperson for vacuum cleaner guidelines.?
What we recommend
The simplest solution is the best one here ? stick to warm water and a towel (and the right kind of vacuum cleaner). Smartstrand Forever Clean could probably take bleach, but we don?t recommend it.?

The Not-So-Easy-to-Clean Floors?
The following floors aren?t hard to clean, per se. They?re just not as easy as porcelain, vinyl and Smartstrand Forever Clean. Prepare yourself for more upkeep with these floors:

Hardwood and Laminate
How to clean hardwood floors
Photo courtesy of Mohawk Flooring
Laminate and hardwood just don?t mix with moisture. If wet, mildew will form and warp your laminate and hardwood floors.

This fact of life limits what you can use to clean them. ?A specialized cleaning products or dust mop is usually best. Your floor?s manufacturers should have specific recommendations.

Don?t wax your hardwood floors, either. It creates a film that?s hard to remove.?
What we recommend
Do buy a cleaning product that?s specifically geared toward laminate and hardwood floors. We like Mohawk?s Floorcare Essentials Kit. Don?t saturate your laminate or hardwood floors with the cleaner. Mop up the moisture with a Swiffer or similar product.?

It?s harder to remove stains from travertine and other types of natural stone. You also can?t apply harsh chemicals to the surface because of how porous natural stone is.?
What we recommend
Our top pick is Dupont StoneTech Stone & Tile Cleaner. It has a water-based formula and gets the job done. Fabuloso isn?t a bad alternative.?

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